Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I remember once (when I was about 14 years old, I think) my little brother Charlie did something that prompted me to haul off and hit him. I don't remember his offense, but (trust me) it must have been something really bad to require such drastic action. Of course, Charlie immediately went tattling to Dad, so just moments after the informant had departed, he returned as the bailiff -- now ordering me to appear before the paternal tribunal. When Dad asked me why I'd hit the rat fink, I boldly cited Dickie's original offense as full vindication of my actions.

Dad acknowledged that Charlie had acted badly, but then he shared a thought that hadn't occurred to me. Dad looked me square in the eye, lowered his voice and spoke words that still melt my heart, "Well, hitting him just makes you that much better than him, doesn't it?"

Suddenly I realized that I'd lowered myself to Charlie's level. I felt so ashamed!

A few days later Roy had occasion to show me his superior ability as a pugilist. But thanks to Dad I now knew how to deal with bullies. I self-righteously countered Roy's blow with Dad's hard-hitting words, "Well, that just makes you that much better than me, doesn't it?"

Roy laughed, "Nah, I just enjoy clobbering you every now and then."

Sheeesshhh --- sometimes you just can't win.


The Flyer said...

By any chance, does your nickname for Charlie have anything to do with work clothing?

Bag Blog said...

I love that story. It reminds me of two young brothers in our church who got into a physical fight. When their mother asked Dillon why he had hit his brother, Dillon replied, "He hit me first." His mother said, "But you know you are not to repay evil for evil." Dillon then said, "But he wanted me to hit him." The mother looked skeptical so Dillon explained, "The Bible says do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Bob said...

Bag Blog--
Now that Dillon knows his Bible.

Yes, Uncle Charlie went by his middle name when he was a boy, but he much prefers Charlie nowadays.